Beyond Formulas in Mathematics and Teaching: Dynamics of the by Daniel Chazan

By Daniel Chazan

Explores the most important dynamics of training - setting up who one's scholars are, what to coach and the way to engage with dynamic personalities. The booklet examines intimately a teacher's evolving understandings in their scholars, algebra and teachers-student lecture room roles.

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Example text

Ironically, given traditional arguments for the ways in which mathematics improves people's reasoning skills and critical faculties, when contrasted with other classes, my mathematics classes did not seem like a context that would foster such faculties or skills. I wondered whether the difference in discourse patterns was a simple reflection of the nature of the subject matter. In traditional school instruction, there is a strong dichotomy between matters of opinion or interpretation and knowledge.

Students would bring their homework to class and we would "go over" problems that I thought were important or that had caused them trouble. They knew that we needed to go over a problem if they could not make headway on it or if they got an answer that was different from the answer key. Then I would introduce the new material covered in the next section, do some practice problems from that section, and assign the next night's homework. Students would usually have time to work on their homework assignment in class with my help, a very typical use of class time (see Borasi, 1992, p.

I want to help my students learn mathematics and value themselves as thinkers, as people with reasoned opinions. Teaching core aca- Page xiii demic subject matter in a compulsory setting to students estranged from schooling challenges this self-image. From the start, students may view the teacher as enemy, rather than ally and supporter, and the subject matter as uninteresting and irrelevant. And the relationship often goes downhill from there. The challenge of such assignments makes high school teaching uncomfortable for many people, and is sometimes cited as a reason people leave teaching.

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